"...the Imagination (or love, or sympathy, or any other sentiment) induces knowledge, and knowledge of an 'object' which is proper to it..."Henry Corbin (1903-1978) was a scholar, philosopher and theologian. He was a champion of the transformative power of the Imagination and of the transcendent reality of the individual in a world threatened by totalitarianisms of all kinds. One of the 20th century’s most prolific scholars of Islamic mysticism, Corbin was Professor of Islam & Islamic Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris and at the University of Teheran. He was a major figure at the Eranos Conferences in Switzerland. He introduced the concept of the mundus imaginalis into contemporary thought. His work has provided a foundation for archetypal psychology as developed by James Hillman and influenced countless poets and artists worldwide. But Corbin’s central project was to provide a framework for understanding the unity of the religions of the Book: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. His great work Alone with the Alone: Creative Imagination in the Sufism of Ibn ‘Arabi is a classic initiatory text of visionary spirituality that transcends the tragic divisions among the three great monotheisms. Corbin’s life was devoted to the struggle to free the religious imagination from fundamentalisms of every kind. His work marks a watershed in our understanding of the religions of the West and makes a profound contribution to the study of the place of the imagination in human life.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Andrew Samuels and the mundus imaginalis
Thanks to David Tacey for alerting me to the fact that Andrew Samuels makes use of Corbin's idea of the mundus imaginalis in psychotherapeutic theory, following in some sense James Hillman's lead. See:
Samuels, A. (1985). 'Countertransference, the 'Mundus Imaginalis' and A Research Project, Journal of Analytical Psychology 30 (1), pp. 47–71.
Tacey writes: "This also seems to appear as Chapter 9 in his remarkable book, The Plural Psyche (1989). I think you will see that these pieces secularize and broaden Corbin's concept of mundus imaginalis, to such an extent that Corbin would no longer recognize it." His comments seem accurate to me.
Posted by Tom Cheetham at 12:01 AM